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CAA News Today

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship. The following exhibitions and events should not be missed. Check the archive of CWA Picks at the bottom of the page, as several museum and gallery shows listed in previous months may still be on view or touring.

August 2012

Rineke Dijkstra

Rineke Dijkstra, Self Portrait, Marnixbad, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 19, 1991, 1991, chromogenic print, 35 x 28 cm (artwork © Rineke Dijkstra; photograph provided by the artist, Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum)

Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10128
June 29–October 8, 2012

It has been a great year for female photographers exhibiting in New York museums: Cindy Sherman at the Museum of Modern Art, Francesca Woodman at the Guggenheim, and now the Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra, who has a midcareer survey at the Guggenheim. Active since the early 1990s, Dijkstra works in video and large-format color photography, addressing a diverse range of subjects, from adolescents in Poland, Ukraine, and the United States to new recruits to the Israeli army, juxtaposed in their civilian dress and soldier gear.

Feminist Genealogies in Spanish Art: 1960–2010
MUSAC: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León
Avenida de los Reyes Leoneses 24, León, Spain 24008
June 23, 2012–January 6, 2013

Curated by Juan Vicente Aliaga and Patricia Mayayo, this exhibition investigates the underrecognized role that feminist activism and theory has played in Spanish art since the 1960s. Showcasing the work of seventy-seven artists (individuals and artist collectives) and representing several generations, Feminist Genealogies in Spanish Art: 1960–2010 strives to restore what the museum justifiably refers to as “the erased memory of feminist knowledge, practices, and genealogies” from Spanish art history—from the waning years of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship to the current rise of the Indignados (“Indignant”) protest movement.

Ulrike Müller: Raw/Cooked
Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238
June 29–September 9, 2012

In the fifth installment of the Brooklyn Museum’s Raw/Cooked series, Ulrike Müller asked queer and feminist artists to create drawings based on slogans from historical feminist t-shirts found in the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The resulting one hundred drawings are both a valentine to the work of queer and feminist activists of the past and a testament to the ongoing struggle faced by the contributing artists. In addition, Müller also culled the museum’s permanent collection to find objects that spoke to her project, displaying these alongside the drawings.

Joana Vasconcelos Versailles
Palace, Museum, and National Estate of Versailles
Versailles, France 78646
June 16–September 30, 2012

The Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos’s installation of large-scale sculptures in the Palace of Versailles addresses history and politics with a child’s sense of wonder and a master craftsman’s feel for material and form. Starting from the idea that the “world is an opera and Versailles embodies the operatic and aesthetic ideal,” Vasconcelos has installed her work, made from everyday objects and materials, in primary locations throughout the palace and its gardens. Mary Poppins (2010), a colorful creature composed of handmade and industrial fabric, hovers expectantly above a grand staircase. A pair of giant-sized high-heel shoes, made entirely from stainless-steel pots and pans, occupies the Hall of Mirrors, adding an Alice in Wonderland element to the ornate surrounding.

Sharon Hayes

Sharon Hayes, Beyond, 2012, research/ production still (photograph © Sharon Hayes and photograph provided by the artist and provided by the artist, Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, and the Whitney Museum of American Art)

Sharon Hayes: There’s So Much I Want to Say to You
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021
June 21–September 9, 2012

Sharon Hayes uses photography, film, video, sound, and performance to investigate the critical relationships among politics, history, speech, and desire. In her largest museum installation to date, Hayes worked with a collaborator, Andrea Geyer, to build an environment on the Whitney Museum’s third floor for staging a collection of the artist’s “speech acts,” which date from 2000 to today. The radical conceit of the installation calls to mind moments in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, such as Dawn Kasper’s studio residency, while also evoking the contemporary protest culture that the biennial displaced outside the museum.

Burnt Breakfast and Other Works by Su Richardson
Constance Howard Gallery and Women’s Art Library
Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, United Kingdom
July 6–September 9, 2012

Curated by Alexandra Kokoli for the Constance Howard Gallery and Women’s Art Library at Goldsmiths, Burnt Breakfast and Other Works by Su Richardson is the latest in a string of exhibits and symposia around London that have been dubbed the “Feminist Art Spring.” Richardson’s crocheted plate of a typical English breakfast of sausage, egg, bacon, and tomato was created in 1975 as a transatlantic exchange with other women artists. It has since become an iconic work and been reclaimed as a precursor of the contemporary use of crafts in fine art by artists working in the United Kingdom.

Niki de Saint Phalle on Park Avenue
Park Avenue between 52nd and 60th Street, New York, NY
July 12–November 15, 2012

Ten years after Niki de Saint Phalle’s death and forty-four years since her art was exhibited in Central Park’s Conservatory Garden, residents of and visitors to New York can once again commune with her sculptures of mosaic-bejeweled figures, installed in the traffic islands that line Park Avenue from 52nd to 60th Street. The parade of nine sculptures includes signature de Saint Phalle pieces, such as her everywoman “Nana” figures, as well as work from a series that celebrate African American jazz musicians and athletes. This outdoor exhibition is sponsored by Nohra Haime Gallery.

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